- Last one home : a novel / Debbie Macomber.
- New York, New York : Random House Audio, 
- 9780553398847 : $39.99
- 9 audio discs
After years of estrangement following a rash decision, three sisters rediscover the love that binds them together.
A rash decision to run off and marry the father of her baby at age 18 cut Cassie off from the love and support of her family. Twelve years later, Cassie has left Duke and is learning to stand on her own two feet and support her daughter. An unexpected phone call from Cassie’s older sister Karen cracks the door open to a reunion, and the sisters move slowly towards reconciliation. Meanwhile, Cassie’s acceptance as an applicant for a Habitat for Humanity home introduces into her life the possibility of new love. To move forward, though, will require that she learn to trust.
The audio version is narrated by Rebecca Lowman, an actress who has appeared in such popular television shows as Grey’s Anatomy, Prime Suspect, Private Practice, and Criminal Minds.
The narrator speaks clearly, but her tone is very low key, almost monotonous in the beginning. The reading is also somewhat mechanical and at times can sound as if she is reading a list. She differentiates between some characters, like male versus female, or slightly higher pitched and more excitable for children, but the adult female character voices are the same. Occasionally, some emotion does come across, especially in the voice of Cassie’s daughter.
The sound quality is very clear. There are no sound effects or music. Overall, I would consider the audio version adequate.
Visit the author’s website.
Women’s fiction/Domestic fiction; romance
For readers of romance light and heartwarming stories of reconciliation and family.
A Field Guide to Burying Your Parents, by Liza Palmer. Both relate stories of dysfunctional families dealing with death and bearing family secrets. The tone is warm and humorous. Both also contain a little romance.
A Whole World of Trouble, by Helen Chappell. Both books deal with family relationships following the death of a parent. They also share characteristics of poignancy and light romance.
First Comes Love, by Emily Giffin. Also about the relationship between sisters following the death of a family member. Both have likable characters and celebrate the bond of family.
A booktalk might focus on Cassie’s estrangement from her family, its history and the first steps towards reconciliation. Alternatively, one could focus on Cassie overcoming an abusive marriage and going on to find a career and make a home for her daughter–the strong single mother angle.
The story opens with Cassie helping another woman take the necessary steps to escape an abusive relationship. Why is it so hard to break free? How vital is support from others in order to find freedom?
How did you feel about Cassie’s family’s decision to not help her when she left Duke? In the end, was that better for her? Why or why not?
What do you think about organizations like Habitat for Humanity that require “sweat equity” and other standards for the applicants? How is this good or bad?
What decision do you think Amy should make regarding contact with her father? Why? What steps could help her do so safely?
Why I chose this book
Debbie Macomber is very popular at our library, and I’ve only read a couple of her Christmas titles. I wanted to become a little more familiar. Also, I was in the mood for something light.
Spouse abuse, Cassie and Amy, Habitat for Humanity, Seattle, Kentucky Fried Chicken